SEEDLING BERMUDAGRASS TOLERATES SOME HERBICIDES

With the introduction of improved seeded bermudagrass greens and fields comes the problem of controlling weeds during establishment. Traditionally, bermudagrass sod and sprigs have established rapidly, thereby reducing the need for post-emergent weed control. Researchers at the University of Arkansas set out to test which herbicides can be safely used on seeded bermudagrass turf. They treated Princess bermudagrass in the field and Princess, Yukon, NuMex, Sahara, Jackpot and Mirage in greenhouse studies. Herbicides were applied at either 1, 2 or 4 weeks after emergence (WAE) and included MSMA, metsulfuron, diclofop, clopyralid, dicamba, 2,4-D amine D and quinclorac. The grass was visually rated at 3, 5, 7, 15 and 30 days after treatment. Percent cover was rated at 30 and 60 days after treatment. Though the herbicides showed varying levels of injury, all bermudagrass recovered by 30 days after treatment. Of the herbicides tested, diclofop and metsulfuron caused the greatest injury. Treatment date did not seem to affect the level of injury, whether the seedlings were treated 1, 2 or 4 weeks after emergence. The study used only one application rate per herbicide; but the results do indicate there are some products that can be safely used to help turf managers transition some of their turf areas into the improved seeded bermudagrass.

Source: Crop Science, 2004; 44:1337-1340.

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